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Why do I fart?

 

Copyright: bowie15 / 123RF Stock Photo

Do you smell that? Pee-ew! Did somebody just crack a fart? Why do people fart so much? And why are they so smelly?

What is a fart?

a graffiti written word fart

Copyright: lineartestpilot / 123RF Stock Photo

Farts, or intestinal gas, are just that — gas! When you are eating food or drinking a beverage, you are not just swallowing your food and drink, but also some air along with it. That air gets trapped in your stomach and has two options of how it is going to come out. It can either be burped out, or, you guessed it, farted out!
 

child's drawing of a bird with a sound bubble and pfft coming out of the butt

Photo credit: quimby on Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-SA

Some gases like methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen are created during the digestion process. These gases are created in your large intestine as it continues to process the food you ate. All that gas needs to escape somehow!

Why do I fart?

woman watching tv with her cat on her lap and she has a clothespin on her nose because her cat farted

Everybody farts, even your pets — it's completely natural. (Photo credit: Apionid on Visualhunt.com / CC BY-NC-ND)

There are several causes for farting, but none of them are anything to be worried about. Farting is completely normal, and everybody does it — even your pets do it! In fact, the average person farts 10-18 times every single day! That’s a giant amount of gas!
 

two big bowls of vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce and whipped cream topping

If you're lactose intolerant, digging into a big bowl of ice cream might make you a bit gassy.

One reason people fart is because of the types of foods they eat. Sometimes, eating foods like beans, fried foods and onions can cause you to fart more often. If you have difficulty digesting lactose (which can be found in dairy products like yogurt, cheese and milk) you might experience even more farting when you eat these foods! Farting can also just be a warning from your body that it’s time to go to the bathroom!

Why does it smell when I fart?

young boy with glasses holding his nose

Copyright: bowie15 / 123RF Stock Photo

Some farts smell particularly pungent (that means they really stink)! The strongest smelling ones can be from a mixture of the gases listed earlier, as well as ammonia and sulfide (these cause that super strong rotten eggs smell! Ew!).

What can I do to fart less?

farting warning signAlthough farting is perfectly natural, and nothing to be worried about, there are ways to cut down on the number of farts you make, or just the smelliness of the ones you do make!

  • When you eat, take your time! Digestion starts in your mouth, and so to help the rest of your body make the process go down a little smoother, make sure to really chew that chow!
  • Avoid chewing gum and drinking pop. Pop is full of carbonation (bubbles), and chewing gum will add to the amount of air you swallow, both causing an increase of gas being held in your stomach. All that gas needs to go somewhere!
  • Get moving! Doing more physical activity can help with the digestion process by increasing digestive function, and decreasing bloating and gas!

Copyright: oguzdkn / 123RF Stock Photo


Want to learn more about how your body releases gas? Check out Why do I burp?